After Wednesday night’s 13-3 shellacking at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays that assured the Boston Red Sox a losing season, manager Bobby Valentine described the team’s performance as “tough to look at” (via ESPNBoston).
He might as well have been talking about the entire season.
This has been a year of enormous disappointments both on and off the field, as veteran players struggled and the organization as a whole seemed to take a quantum leap backwards. From the owners to Valentine to Jon Lester (and everyone in between), few can escape the label of “underachiever” this year.
Contrary to popular belief, however, things have not been all bad in Boston this season. Several players have risen from low (or no) expectations to produce for the Sox and give the team a boost.
While their contributions have not made a meaningful enough impact to propel this team into the playoffs (or even to a winning record), these five players have at the very least been a positive force in 2012.
Here are five pleasant surprises from this otherwise miserable season: